Prop 65 is a California law enacted in November of 1986. The purpose of Prop 65 is to require businesses to provide warning in the event their product contains an amount of any listed chemical deemed harmful. Among the long list of both natural and synthetic elements categorized Prop 65’s eligible offenders are arsenic, lead, and cadmium. These heavy metals are naturally occurring elements, however their use in industry has caused elevated levels to appear in top soil and our water supply, most notably in the Flint Water Crisis. The aim of Prop 65 is twofold: to keep consumers informed and protected, and to incentivize businesses to tailor their products to comply with Prop 65.
Yes, but there’s something very curious about mercury’s inclusion on Prop 65’s Listed Chemicals. Though mercury has been on Prop 65’s danger list since 1990 with reproductive effects the main symptom, there is somehow no limit cited for mercury on Prop 65’s list. Mercury, lead, and cadmium in particular have even been known to cause neurological problems ranging from irritability to severe anxiety. However, despite these metals resting in the same elemental category, there is no limit to the amount of mercury one can ingest according to Prop 65.
Lead is the other side of this bizarre coin. While these metals are elemental neighbors with similar symptoms through poisoning, lead’s maximum daily intake is fifty times less than the FDA recommends. There are some who believe the pharmaceutical and fishing lobbies may have played a part in this strange and deep disparity in the treatment of similar metals. Mercury is frequently associated with fish, and can even be found in intravenous medicines and vaccines. On the other hand, lead is frequently found in top soil and is associated at times with plant proteins and cacao. The unexplainable separation has many crying conspiracy, and we may never know fully why mercury is limitless while lead is a near impossible threshold.
Yes! We wanted to get that out of the way. Despite the presence of the aforementioned pea protein and cacao, we are as confident as ever in the sources we supply our raw ingredients from and the individuals behind the process. Many protein powders are not, however, and it is the presence of these metals that has some omnivorous consumers leaning further from plant based proteins. While it’s up to companies like ours to adapt to the times, it’s also imperative that when laws such as these are administered the relationship between business and government is fair. The science behind these laws must also be sound, and with disparities such as the mercury versus lead conundrum, it’s easy to see why some feel cynical about the purpose of Prop 65. Regardless, the charge to build cleaner business and hold our practices accountable is noble, and we are proud to be well within the stringent bounds of Prop 65.